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Serotonin and social norms: tryptophan depletion impairs social comparison and leads to resource depletion in a multiplayer harvesting game.

Bilderbeck AC, Brown GD, Read J, Woolrich M, Cowen PJ, Behrens TE, Rogers RD - Psychol Sci (2014)

Bottom Line: How do people sustain resources for the benefit of individuals and communities and avoid the tragedy of the commons, in which shared resources become exhausted?Healthy adults, alongside social partners, completed a multiplayer resource-dilemma game in which they repeatedly harvested from a partially replenishable monetary resource.Dietary tryptophan depletion, leading to reduced serotonin activity, was associated with aggressive harvesting strategies and disrupted use of the social norms given by distributions of other players' harvests.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Setup of the multiplayer resource-dilemma game and an example harvesting opportunity. The photographs show (a) the positions of the four players (a participant and three confederates) around the workstation where the game was played and (b) a single participant viewing an example display. In the example harvesting opportunity (c), the letter A indicates the position of the participant at the workstation; the three confederates are represented by B, C, and D, respectively. Throughout the game, the current value of the resource was shown in the center of the pentagon. During the harvesting phase (left panel), participants had 5 s to choose how much to harvest from the resource and enter that amount in the box marked “Select your take:.” This was followed by the 1.5-s observation phase (middle panel), in which the amount each player chose was displayed in red next to his or her identifying letter, and then the participant’s chosen amount was added to his or her total points. The resource was then partially replenished (right panel). Replenishment was signaled by a mauve border appearing around the pentagon and the sounding of a 0.5-s tone.
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fig1-0956797614527830: Setup of the multiplayer resource-dilemma game and an example harvesting opportunity. The photographs show (a) the positions of the four players (a participant and three confederates) around the workstation where the game was played and (b) a single participant viewing an example display. In the example harvesting opportunity (c), the letter A indicates the position of the participant at the workstation; the three confederates are represented by B, C, and D, respectively. Throughout the game, the current value of the resource was shown in the center of the pentagon. During the harvesting phase (left panel), participants had 5 s to choose how much to harvest from the resource and enter that amount in the box marked “Select your take:.” This was followed by the 1.5-s observation phase (middle panel), in which the amount each player chose was displayed in red next to his or her identifying letter, and then the participant’s chosen amount was added to his or her total points. The resource was then partially replenished (right panel). Replenishment was signaled by a mauve border appearing around the pentagon and the sounding of a 0.5-s tone.

Mentions: All four players (i.e., the participant and three confederates) sat at separate workstations around a pentagonal table, with each person’s position identified by labels (A, B, C, and D). The experimenter sat at the fifth workstation (Fig. 1a). Each workstation contained a computer terminal, and dividers concealed other players’ displays and keyboard finger movements (Fig. 1b) but not their faces. First names of players, but no other information, were known among the group before the game began. To enhance the deception that the other three players of the game were genuine, we trained participants alongside one opposite-gender confederate but informed them that the two remaining players (one male, one female) were being trained elsewhere. This procedure avoided both the possibly unhelpful effects of being instructed as part of a larger group (e.g., by making it easier for participants to ask questions) and improved the believability of the game by making participants aware of confederates’ involvement before they took their seats for the game proper. All groups included two male and two female players.


Serotonin and social norms: tryptophan depletion impairs social comparison and leads to resource depletion in a multiplayer harvesting game.

Bilderbeck AC, Brown GD, Read J, Woolrich M, Cowen PJ, Behrens TE, Rogers RD - Psychol Sci (2014)

Setup of the multiplayer resource-dilemma game and an example harvesting opportunity. The photographs show (a) the positions of the four players (a participant and three confederates) around the workstation where the game was played and (b) a single participant viewing an example display. In the example harvesting opportunity (c), the letter A indicates the position of the participant at the workstation; the three confederates are represented by B, C, and D, respectively. Throughout the game, the current value of the resource was shown in the center of the pentagon. During the harvesting phase (left panel), participants had 5 s to choose how much to harvest from the resource and enter that amount in the box marked “Select your take:.” This was followed by the 1.5-s observation phase (middle panel), in which the amount each player chose was displayed in red next to his or her identifying letter, and then the participant’s chosen amount was added to his or her total points. The resource was then partially replenished (right panel). Replenishment was signaled by a mauve border appearing around the pentagon and the sounding of a 0.5-s tone.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License 1 - License 2 - License 3
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4230382&req=5

fig1-0956797614527830: Setup of the multiplayer resource-dilemma game and an example harvesting opportunity. The photographs show (a) the positions of the four players (a participant and three confederates) around the workstation where the game was played and (b) a single participant viewing an example display. In the example harvesting opportunity (c), the letter A indicates the position of the participant at the workstation; the three confederates are represented by B, C, and D, respectively. Throughout the game, the current value of the resource was shown in the center of the pentagon. During the harvesting phase (left panel), participants had 5 s to choose how much to harvest from the resource and enter that amount in the box marked “Select your take:.” This was followed by the 1.5-s observation phase (middle panel), in which the amount each player chose was displayed in red next to his or her identifying letter, and then the participant’s chosen amount was added to his or her total points. The resource was then partially replenished (right panel). Replenishment was signaled by a mauve border appearing around the pentagon and the sounding of a 0.5-s tone.
Mentions: All four players (i.e., the participant and three confederates) sat at separate workstations around a pentagonal table, with each person’s position identified by labels (A, B, C, and D). The experimenter sat at the fifth workstation (Fig. 1a). Each workstation contained a computer terminal, and dividers concealed other players’ displays and keyboard finger movements (Fig. 1b) but not their faces. First names of players, but no other information, were known among the group before the game began. To enhance the deception that the other three players of the game were genuine, we trained participants alongside one opposite-gender confederate but informed them that the two remaining players (one male, one female) were being trained elsewhere. This procedure avoided both the possibly unhelpful effects of being instructed as part of a larger group (e.g., by making it easier for participants to ask questions) and improved the believability of the game by making participants aware of confederates’ involvement before they took their seats for the game proper. All groups included two male and two female players.

Bottom Line: How do people sustain resources for the benefit of individuals and communities and avoid the tragedy of the commons, in which shared resources become exhausted?Healthy adults, alongside social partners, completed a multiplayer resource-dilemma game in which they repeatedly harvested from a partially replenishable monetary resource.Dietary tryptophan depletion, leading to reduced serotonin activity, was associated with aggressive harvesting strategies and disrupted use of the social norms given by distributions of other players' harvests.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus